The SAP Advantage at Georgia Southern
What is SAP®?
SAP AG is the largest software company headquartered in the EU (Waldorf, Germany) and is the third largest software enterprise in the world in terms of revenues. The company was founded in 1972 as Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung by five former IBM engineers.
SAP’s primary products focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which it helped to pioneer. ERP systems attempt to integrate several organizational data sources and processes into a unified system. The two key components of an ERP system are a common database and a modular software design. The common database allows every department in a company to store and retrieve information in real-time. An ERP modular software design enables a variety of programs to be added to improve the efficiency of the business.
Ideally, ERP includes a single database that contains all data needed to support:
- Supply Chain Management
- Human Resources
- Customer Relationship Management
- Data Warehouse
What are SAP’s major products?
SAP’s main product is SAP ERP hints at its functionality: the “R” stands for real time, and the number 3 relates to a 3-tier architecture: database, application server and client (SAPgui).
SAP ERP is one of five major enterprise applications in SAP’s Business Suite. The other four applications are:
- customer relationship management (CRM) – helps companies acquire and retain customers, gain deep marketing and customer insight, and align organization on customer-focused strategies
- product lifecycle management (PLM) – helps manufacturers with a single source of all product-related information necessary for collaborating with business partners and supporting product lines
- supply chain management (SCM) – helps companies enhance operational flexibility across global enterprises and provide real-time visibility for customers and suppliers
- supplier relationship management (SRM) – customers can collaborate closely with suppliers and integrate sourcing processes with applications throughout the enterprise to enhance transparency and lower costs
Other major SAP product offerings include: the NetWeaver platform, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) solutions, Duet (joint offering with Microsoft), Performance Management solutions and RFID.
While its original products were typically used by Fortune 500 companies, SAP is now also actively targeting small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with
- SAP Business One
- SAP Business All-in-One
- SAP Business ByDesign
What is the SAP University Alliances (UA)?
The SAP University Alliances enables colleges and universities to access SAP products and solutions to use in their courses. This means that SAP UA institutions have the capability to enable students to gain hands-on experience with SAP products and solutions. This provides students with a realistic perspective on how SAP can help companies integrate their business processes. It also gives students skills to add immediate value to the marketplace.
SAP University Alliances member schools gain access to the SAP Business Suite family of solutions, including SAP ERP. This comprehensive business software suite enables students to put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, exercises and problem-solving, case studies, and research investigations.
Through hands-on experience with SAP solutions, students at SAP UA schools gain insight into how SAP and other enterprise solutions can empower a business to optimize key processes such as accounting and controlling, human capital management, materials management, and sales and distribution.
Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG®)
SAP@Georgia Southern Students volunteer to assist with meeting logistics at quarterly ASUG Georgia Chapter meetings. The meetings are normally hosted by businesses like The Coca-Cola Company or Newell Rubbermaid in the Atlanta area. Student volunteers help with set-up, registration, and directing attendees to educational break-out sessions. This is an excellent opportunity for IS Majors and IS Minors to network with representatives from SAP user companies.
Who are ASUG members: As a community of like-minded SAP professionals, ASUG members are engaged in helping each other find new and better ways to solve problems and achieve their business goals.
The ASUG Story
The Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) got its start in the very early 1990’s when a group of long-time SAP customers were compelled to get together and to share their experiences and learn from each other about their use of SAP. One day in late 1991, they decided to launch a user group. We weren’t very sophisticated back then – we had no website, no e-mail … The one thing we did have was a shared passion for SAP, so everything clicked. From our origins connecting users face-to-face in small meetings, we have expanded into a year round community, with thousands of opportunities for members to share their stories with each other. Over ASUG’s 25 year history of connecting SAP customers and partners with each other, it’s become an ongoing cycle of shared experience that continues to create real advantage for the entire SAP community. And, it’s our job to not only make those connections possible, but to make them interesting and fun and to ensure that everyone gains an advantage from the exchange.
Getting hired as a new graduate
Are you about to graduate from college or graduate school? Did you graduate in the past year? ASUG is looking for new grads. If you have limited or no on-the-job experience–but a sharp intellect, a top-notch educational background, and the energy to move the industry forward–ASUG would like to talk to you. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASUG chapters, students join free
An ASUG chapter is a community of SAP professionals in close geographical proximity. Thirty-nine geographical locations throughout the United States and Canada are represented by ASUG Chapters. ASUG Chapters provide members access to convenient face-to-face education and networking. All ASUG Chapters meetings are included in ASUG membership benefits at no extra cost. Get involved in our University Alliances SAP community.
SAP UA Student Recognition Awards
Georgia Southern students who complete a minimum of 3 SAP-approved courses are eligible to receive a SAP University Alliances Student Recognition Award (formerly known as the SAP Certificate) signed by the SAP University Alliances (UA) Program Manager and the Department Chair of Information Systems. IS Majors in the Enterprise Resources Planning Emphasis typically receive this award. The SAP UA Student Recognition Award (SSRA) can also be earned by Georgia Southern students who minor in Information Systems. The IS Minor (and SSRA) enhances career options for students interested in working for businesses that use SAP software. Students majoring in accounting, finance, human resource management, operations management, or logistics are especially likely to benefit from an IS Minor and SAP UA Student Recognition Award.
Students who earn the Recognition Award satisfy the education requirements to enter SAP´s TS410 certification process.
What are the requirements for a SAP UA Recognition Award at Georgia Southern?
Students can earn a SAP UA Recognition Award by completing three SAP UA-approved courses. To be approved by SAP UA, at least 30% of the course must involve hands-on experience with a SAP software product.
Currently, the Department of Information Systems offers the following SAP UA-approved undergraduate courses
- CISM 3131 – Management Information Systems
- CISM 3135 – Enterprise Systems Analysis and Deisng
- CISM 3333 – ERP Systems Using SAP
- CISM 4237 – Business Intelligence
- CISM 4335 – ABAP Programming for SAP ERP
- CISM 4434 – Enterprise System Configuration
Why would I want a SAP UA Recognition Award?
SAP uses the phrase “The best run companies run SAP” as a selling point. The truth underlying this phrase has resulted in SAP becoming the world’s largest business software company in terms of revenue’s. SAP is currently used by more than 35,000 companies and with new products targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), SAP’s customer base will eclipse 100,000 companies by 2010.
This rapid growth has resulted in a shortage of SAP talent in the marketplace. Industry experts currently estimate a SAP talent shortage of 30,000 to 40,000 and The Gartner Group predicts that more than new 400,000 SAP-skilled employees will be needed by SAP user organizations in the very near future.
Georgia Southern University’s SAP Student Recognition Award signifies that you have completed at least three SAP-approved courses that include significant hands-on experience with SAP. A minimum of 30% of each SAP-approved course is devoted to in-depth exposure to SAP. This translates into developing skill sets that can give you a competitive advantage in the job market – including multiple career options in business and IT, more managerial opportunities, and higher salaries. Because individuals with SAP skills are highly sought after, they receive pay increases that outpace the market.
Students who earn a SAP UA Recognition Award have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience with mySAP ERP navigation and SAP ERP’s Financial Accounting (FI), Controlling (CO), Materials Management (MM), and Sales & Distribution (SD) modules. They also have the opportunity to apply NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI) to mine data in a SAP data warehouse (DW) that they created and/or to use SAP ERP’s Human Capital Management (HCM) module to set up and maintain organizational structures, personnel data, hiring processes, incentive wage and benefit structures, and payroll processes. Technically inclined students can also learn how to customize and extend SAP’s considerable capabilities using ABAP Workbench and the ABAP programming language.
Universities that enable undergraduate students to gain comparable levels of hands-on SAP experience are few and far between. This means that Georgia Southern’s SAP UA Recognition Award has value and can give you a leg up when applying for jobs at SAP user organizations.
Georgia Southern University’s SAP University Alliances Recognition Award is being ‘found’ by more and more major corporations. Since 2007, BMW, Georgia Pacific, and Under Armour have come to campus to recruit SAP Recognition Award seeking students for internships, co-ops, and permanent employment. Georgia Southern students have also completed SAP internships at IBM, JCB, Coca-Cola, Textron and Scansource.
Who can earn a SAP UA Recognition Award?
Since it is only necessary to complete three SAP UA-Approved courses to earn a recognition award, one is within reach of both IS majors and IS minors.
IS majors who want to graduate with this award typically choose to complete the Enterprise Resources Planning Emphasis.
IS minors who are majoring in Accounting, Logistics, Finance, Management–Operations Management Emphasis or Management–Human Resource Management Emphasis often choose to earn a SAP UA Recognition Award in order to increase their chances of landing a job with SAP user organizations. IS minors who want a SAP UA Recognition Award typically take CISM 3333 – ERP Systems Using SAP, CISM 4237 – Decision Support Systems/Business Intelligence, and CISM 4434 – Enterprise System Configuration.
Post-baccalaureate students can earn this award also by completing the requirements for an IS minor.
How can graduate students earn a SAP UA Recognition Award?
The Department of Information Systems offers the following graduate courses that includes hands-on experience with SAP and hopes to incorporate SAP into more graduate courses in the future.
- CISM 7231 – ERP Business Process Analysis using SAP
- CISM 7235 – ERP Customizations for SAP
- CISM 7331 – Enterprise System Analysis and Configuration
- CISM 7335 – Business Intelligence & Performance Management Systems
- CISM 7336 – Enterprise Information Systems
- CISM 7339 – ERP Certification (TS410)
These can be used to fulfill the requirements for the MBA IS Concentration, the Masters of Accounting, or the Master of Technology with IT Emphasis degrees. They are also accessible to non-degree graduate students.
Both degree seeking and non-degree graduate students may take SAP-approved undergraduate courses to earn a SAP Recognition Award.
SAP University Alliances Approved Courses
Georgia Southern University partners with SAP’s University Alliances (UA) to allow students to use and understand SAP products. Our faculty members have been educated at SAP and UA training centers throughout North America and are continually upgrading their skills.
CISM 3131 – Management Information Systems
An overview of the utilization of information technology in business organizations to support managerial decision making and to provide competitive advantage. This course will address the evolution of information and information technology as corporate assets, how information technology is reshaping organization structures and work processes, how it is changing business relationships among organizations, and emerging information technologies expected to significantly impact business operations in the years ahead. Prerequisite(s): A minimum grade of “C” in all of the following: CISM 2530 and ACCT 2030 or ACCT 2101 and Sophomore standing.
CISM 3135 – Enterprise Systems Analysis & Design
This course is an introduction to traditional and object-oriented analysis and design methods to solve business problems. Students will apply data and process modeling techniques to analyze the existing enterprise systems. The physical design will be performed by designing a customization to existing enterprise systems.
CISM 3333 – ERP Systems Using SAP®
Focuses on Enterprise Planning (ERP) using SAP R/3. Students will spend computer intensive time navigating in SAP and completing SAP lab assignments. Currency in ERP developments by subscribing to Internet newsletters on ERP or SAP developments is required. Students will also be required to complete a major ERP project and give a presentation on important recent ERP developments.
CISM 4237 – Business Intelligence
This course is an introduction to business intelligence and business analytics. Students will be exposed to recent technological developments in these areas, as well as best practices.
CISM 4335 – ABAP Programming for SAP®
A course that provides an overview of the ABAP programming language. Students use ABAP Workbench and OO programming to access database tables, design input screen selections, and generate output list reports.
CISM 4434 – Enterprise System Configuration
This course focuses on configuring and testing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for use in a large organization. Students learn how to set up a manufacturing company from the ground up. Throughout the course, students will create and test the organizational structure, master data, and business rules to integrate business processes such as accounting, procurement, sales, production, and warehouse management.
Last updated: 10/5/2022